9136 minutes played over 106 matches for the club. Kye Rowles has given everything and more for Mariners over the past five seasons, and his contribution has laid the platform for Rowles to cross another avenue in his professional career for the next three years as he swaps the sunny Central Coast for Edinburgh in the Scottish Premier League with Heart of Midlothian.
The past season in particular has been a breakthrough one to say the least with the achievements of not only himself but the club as a whole.
“It’s all happened so quick. I’ve had no time to process what’s being going on, but it’s been awesome really,” said Rowles.
At 24, Rowles transitioned into a true leader for a club with an on field average age of 24.7 years and evidently moulded together a strong pack of inexperienced players to tackle some fierce opposition.
Kye’s integrity and give it your all attitude paid dividends for the A-League Men’s squad, finishing fifth in the regular season, while making it to the Australia Cup Final under first year head coach Nick Montgomery, where Rowles collected the Mark Viduka medal with Melbourne Victory’s Jake Brimmer in their unfortunate defeat following an impressive run.
The defenders’ actions throughout the season didn’t go unnoticed, picking up the Mariners Medal at the 2022 Mariners Medal Dinner Awards for the second consecutive year – a culmination of Mariners Fan’s Player of the Season, Player’s Player of the Season, and Coach’s Award.
Rowles’ calm persona, tactical maestro, and defensive masterclass claimed him to be one of the best defenders in the league and was given the right to showcase his abilities against European powerhouse FC Barcelona as an A-League All Star.
The only player to play the full 90’ minutes, Rowles acknowledged the event as an excellent occasion to showcase the strength of Australian football.
“It was good for the game, and it shows us boys aren’t as behind as everyone expects and I feel that game really set me up for the Socceroos,” said Rowles.
Selected in Socceroos camp previously with no minutes to show, Rowles finally got his shot to make his debut against Jordan, inducted as Socceroo 622.
The selection was a culmination of the five seasons of hard work on and off the field and the 24-year-old was stoked with the call-up from coach Graham Arnold.
“For me it’s the best reward you can get,” he said.
“There’s no higher level than playing for your country and I was and played nervous…because obviously there was heaps of pressure, but I knew if I just played my game, I would be fine.”
In only his third cap for Socceroos, Rowles played a pivotal role in securing FIFA World Cup Qualification with a man-of-the-match performance against Peru with the Socceroos silencing the doubters after being written off for much of their qualification campaign.
Now Rowles will venture down another path in his professional career with Hearts to compete against the likes of Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic FC and other top dogs around Europe, and the 24-year-old is ready to soak in the experience of Scottish football and get cracking to prove his worth.
“I can’t wait. I am so excited to experience the atmosphere and play against the best players in the world.”
Central Coast Mariners has become a second home for Kye, and the club wishes him all the best over in the Scottish Premier League and hope he can continue his success as a Jambo.